A Marvellous Light, a review

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske was my first ever Illumicrate book, and I chose to read with the readalong on discord which was a lot of fun. And also means that I don’t end up with these books living on my tbr forever!

This book was a lot more romance heavy than I had been expecting. I had went in thinking it would be an adult historical fantasy with romance. It’s not. It’s more like an adult historical romance with fantasy. I did still enjoy it, but a lot less than if it had been less romantic, so beware going in.

We follow two men. One who is “normal” (Robin) and one who lives in this magical side of the world (Edwin). Robin is exposed to magic and put in danger, and they have to work together with Edwin to fix everything and get back to a normal life. But of course, with this being a romance, Robin and Edwin’s relationship soon develops into something more.

In terms of the fantastical aspects I absolutely adore the magic system within this book which involves cats cradles. One of our two main POV’s is a magician, Edwin, but he struggles with magic and so uses a physical string to construct his magic. This is such a beautiful concept and honestly is what kept me going with this book. I want to learn more about it!

The start of the book was hella sexist. I think that it’s supposed to be a setup for just how powerful women are shown to be in this masculine centred world, but it still felt quite odd and uncomfortable. Perhaps that was the point? I don’t know.

There were so many cliffhangers throughout this. I’m not sure how much of this was just good choice in end chapters from the Illumicrate team and how much was just a large number of cliffhangers! But surprisingly in almost a 180, the plot actually took a backseat in this novel. It was still really interesting, I absolutely adored the plot, but it wasn’t the primary focus of the novel. That was the romance.

I loved the character development throughout the novel, the romance aspect was a little much for me and I would’ve preferred to see it toned down, but the actual relationship between the two men was really lovely to see develop.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 7, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 8, giving a score of 7.71 and a rating of 4*.

I think that I will be picking up the sequel, because it’s supposed to be following Robin’s sister as she travels by ship to New York. This series is set to be a trilogy so depending on how book 2: A Restless Truth, goes. Well I might pick up number 3 too. I also really hope that Illumicrate does a matching edition for the rest of the series because their cover was gorgeous!

My first ever Illumicrate box!!

This was my first ever book box and I absolutely loved it!

From the most beautiful book design I think I’ve ever seen, to the gorgeous mug and the beautiful pin!

I’ve not read A Marvellous Light yet, because I want to read along with the Discord to make the absolute most out of my first box! I’m really excited to delve in and hear everyone’s thoughts!

What do you think is the best thing from this box? Honestly? This time there is nothing that can truly compete with the book 😂

Image ID: An unboxing of the December Illumicrate box. The book is A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske which is laid flat against a white background. To the left, under the book, is a dark blue pin banner with a phoeni design. Pinned on the banner is a badge depicting hands playing cats cradle. Leaning against the top left of the book is a large mug with art showing two characters on horseback. On top of the book is a small pink dragon statue. At the top of the photo is a yelow Illumicrate box with a fake pot of ivy sat on top. To the top left of the book is a sheet of stickres inspired by Nevermoor, a calendar, and a Ninth House pencil tin. To the left of the book is a small slice of purple geode